The signing of Aaron Wan Bissaka for £45 million has the potential to be United’s best signing for years. That title definitely belongs to David de Gea at the moment, but AWB is exactly what United needed.
After years and years of right backs who aren’t actually, it’s so refreshing to have a player who you can 100% rely on to win the ball back every time there’s an attack down his side. Whilst the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have shown impressive versatility and effort levels over the years, there’s no substitute for a proper conventional right back.
The comparisons between AWB and Trent Alexander-Arnold do need to stop. They’re two very different right-backs. AWB is definitely a better defender than Trent, but he doesn’t offer the same threat going forward. Trent is effectively another midfielder for Liverpool.
AWB is relatively effective going forward, but that part of his game does need work. He can often look a bit erratic going forward, but it’s clear the willingness is there to get forward and add to the attacks. Unfortunately, United are shipping more goals than we’d like at the moment so it’s probably best to keep AWB focused on defending.
There’s something very satisfying about a player that just calmly gets on with his job to great effect, without any ego or fuss. Some people think it’s bad to have a player who, to quote Wilfried Zaha: “doesn’t speak” unless spoken to, but United have had too many big personalities in the dressing room recently. That’s partly why for so long United have looked like a team of individuals. Even though the results haven’t improved, you do get the feeling that this is a set of players who are all on the same page. They want to work hard for each other, but the quality of play just isn’t always there.
The arrival of AWB has been timely in relation to the slight dip in form we’ve seen from Victor Lindelof. A few little mistakes have crept into his game, but AWB is often on the same side and is quick to make the last-ditch tackle that’s needed.
Aaron Wan Bissaka is currently living up to the hype, and if he becomes a bit more composed going forward, he can easily stake a claim for best right back in the Premier League. If United were winning more games, he’d be getting praised a lot more than he is right now.